Well, the holiday season is upon us and I want to remind you that books and bookstore gift cards make great presents! The recently published Cherry Blossoms in Twilight: Memories of a Japanese Girl would appeal to anyone who has lived in Japan or has loved Japan… or anyone who enjoys learning about other cultures. The illustrations, done by my mother as she tried to explain concepts to me, are adorable and remind me of the artwork of Gyo Fujikawa. Many older adults have loved this book because it brings them back to their own childhood memories. Cherry Blossoms is available through Amazon or through the website www.moonbridgebooks.com.
I’d like to suggest giving Grandma or Grandpa (or Mom or Dad) a blank journal book along with Cherry Blossoms or any other book of personal stories, whether autobiographical or fictionalized history. The gift of a journaling book would encourage your loved one to record his or her own stories. Reading Cherry Blossoms can give ideas of what to write about as well as help recall those old memories, as it is recent history familiar to our senior adults today.
An alternative gift suggestion would be to give a family memory book such as To Our Children’s Children by Paul Vatter, or Your Story: A Guided Interview Through Your Personal & Family History, both available on Amazon.com. Browse through the Amazon reviews of these books before you buy. To many people, these books work best when used to provide examples of questions to ask. A blank journaling book will then allow plenty of space to write about events and stories of the person’s own choosing.
Blank journal books are a great gift idea for teens, too. My daughters like to ask me about my own childhood stories, but unfortunately I can’t remember many. Journals can be used by teens to record interesting events and stories as well as the thoughts and feelings around those moments. They can begin by writing down stories they remember from their younger days. Unlike a diary, which is a daily run of thoughts, this journal would include descriptions of happenings or thoughts or poems the author would like to remember in the future. These writings can be a special delight to look back upon when older – and provide the basis of a life-story recording later.
So, check out the book stores while you’re shopping for Christmas gifts. Include a nice bookmark as an added touch. Give the gift of reading – and remembering.